In his talk, Lorenzo Gerbi proposes a rupture in the broad discourse around inter-, trans-, and multi-disciplinarity by disengaging from the methodological trap of the self-referential academic discussion around disciplinarity. The latter is too detached, in his opinion, from the concrete experiences and existing on-disciplinary practices. Therefore, starting from his personal practice and struggles inside an interdisciplinary cultural institution, he decided to sketch an alternative approach that relies on temporarily removing disciplines to help develop a better collaboration attitude between them, not in an interdisciplinary project but by having people from different disciplines learning together. In this way, learners become aware of how people with diverse backgrounds think and grasp reality, challenging the assumptions and hierarchies that normally originate from stereotyped images of specific characters (the nerd scientist, the greedy economist, the eccentric artist…). He called this approach indisciplinarity, a concept already briefly introduced by French philosopher Jacques Rancière, that he expanded to oppose both the discipline – that students bear within a traditional teaching environment – and disciplines – the way they divide knowledge and who can contribute to it from who cannot.
Lorenzo Gerbi is an art director, curator and educator based in Eindhoven (NL). He is co-director and curator at Baltan Laboratories, a cultural in(ter)disciplinary lab, based in Eindhoven (NL) focusing on societal issues in an imaginative and collaborative manner, bringing experts and non-experts together. He is Editor-in-Chief of Fictional Journal, a platform and online publication investigating design’s involvement within society.